But, otherwise, what an awesome learning experience it has been for me!
Shulman writes that the Tamil world had changed almost beyond recognition by the middle of the nineteenth century. Manonmaniyam Sundaram Pillai played an integral role in the revival and revitalization of Tamil. I recall his Tamil Thai Vazhthu from the school days. Shulman lists many more who worked on recovering the old Sangam texts and providing commentaries about them.
In the early 20th century, the struggle to get rid of the bastard raj also became a struggle to re-establish Tamil. Unfortunately, this became entangled with anti-Brahmin and anti-caste issues, which were also extremely important, and are important even today. But, the co-mingling of these issues led to a political movement to also get rid of the Sanskrit--associated with Brahmins--words from the Tamil language.
Shulman writes that "the very intensity of anti-Sanskrit feeling that we see in the Pure Tamil fanatics is itself a sure sign of the deep interdependence of the two languages." But, politics does not care for such nuances. And despite the maniacal efforts of the fanatics, "Tamil today, like the Tamil of yesterday, indeed like nearly all major living languages, remains saturated with borrowed vocabulary." The language lives on.
Shulman ends the book with a contemporary Tamil poem, by Manushya Puthiran.